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Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.
The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn't destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.
Archangel's Blood is the masterful first novel in Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series. Both brilliantly written and wonderfully realized this novel won't disappoint. Filled with action, romance, and danger this is a must read for anyone interested in either angels or vampires.
The world Singh created is a virtual feast. The descriptions of the world itself and rules within it are perfectly explained and detailed. The histories and mythos explored within the novel are nicely developed while maintaining a balance that leaves out just enough information to have the reader craving more. The world is diverse, filled with vampires and vampire Hunters, angels and archangels, thus making for a rich hierarchy structure. There is a very three dimensional feeling to the novel as if it is completely plausible, simply a different reality from our own. Likewise the atmospheres were wonderfully created. From the grandeur of Archangel Tower to the horrific slaughterhouses left behind in Uram's wake, all are perfectly captured. The tone switching effortlessly from warm and fluid to gritty and visceral within the span of a sentence.
The characterizaiton within the novel is extremely well done making the character interesting and enthralling, beginning with Elena. She's a strong female character, with a strong will and sarcastic wit. She doesn't bow to anyone, instead choosing to live or die based on her own rules. Her penchant for speaking her mind regardless of to whom she is speaking is admirable. This lack of self preservation, as Raphael calls it, is one of the many attributes that made me instantly like her. Raphael on the other hand is very male, his ego enamoring. The charisma he generates simply through his presence reflects the skill of Singh's writing. The romance that is created between the two is one that the reader melts in to as it is both sizzling and addictive. The sparing of wills between them is dangerous and sweet, the possessiveness that they both feel toward the other serving to enhance the ever growing bond. But, also of note is the development of the secondary characters. Each has a nicely developed history, each a unique voice. For example Dmitri and his dangerous allure. His witty, suggestive innuendo is endearing while he maintains an edge that screams predator. His fierce loyalty towards Raphael and his tenderness towards those who have suffered abuse is touching. While there are many other characters who merit mention, let it suffice to say that they all make me hope we see more of them in future novels as they are all extremely interesting and endearing.
The writing style that Singh uses is lushly descriptive and fluid. It serves to give very real voices to the characters and helps to maintain a quick pace throughout. The difference in style between Uram, the Angel of Blood, and the rest of the characters is perfectly selected to show the insanity that plagues Uram as well as his lust for violence and blood. But, for me the most telling of Singh's ability was in the battle between Uram and Raphael. The artistry of words perfectly depicts the scene of Raphael's fall as if it had been painted by one of the Masters. It became instantly epic and cinematic, almost as if in slow motion-a trait I have never before found capable in a novel.
In the end, I have to say that no angels have ever been as sexy or dangerous as the ones portrayed within this novel. Nor have vampires held quite so much allure. This is an action packed novel that keeps the readers attention and ends with them begging for more. Definitely not a series to be missed!
My Rating 5 out of 5 Scars
Advisory: Some sexual and graphic content.